January Inversion Is Back

Hmmm, seems like we’ve done this recently.  That’s right…January we’ve seen some of our strongest east wind and longest foggy periods the past few years.  Here we are again.  The view from our Skyline Camera at 10pm:


I made a gamble in last night’s forecast; that the clouds would linger through the night and then break in the morning, giving us a very warm day.  Instead the clouds broke in the middle of the night and fog developed.  Now what happens in January with no wind and a foggy morning?  Yes, the fog doesn’t go away quickly, if at all.  As a result high temps stayed in the 40s.

Meanwhile the warmest airmass in over a month has arrived above the cool air here in the valleys.  At 10pm it’s warmer at Timberline (52) than New Orleans, Houston, & Pensacola!  A bit lower, on the west slopes of the Cascades and in Coast Range, temperatures soared into the 60s.  MarkInversion_70s  Tomorrow we may even see a 70 in a spot or two.

What about the fog?  If you live south of Tualatin I think it’s unlikely you see any sun the next 3 days.  Yes, that means in Salem it’ll likely be gloomy through the end of the workweek.  Increasing easterly wind out of the Gorge is going to clear out most of the metro area by tomorrow afternoon though.  That east wind will reach “winter-strength” (gusts 60-70 in Gorge and 30-40 east metro) Thursday and may clear out skies all the way down to Woodburn or so.  If you are lucky.

Enjoy the sun at the higher elevations and take some Vitamin D pills if you live in the Valley the next few days…

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

62 Responses to January Inversion Is Back

  1. jimbo says:

    Looks like pattern change in about a week or so. Westerly flow and hopefully mtn snow

  2. Can someone please give me the site for current conditions at Timber please?

  3. PurpleHaze says:

    Since this is suppose to be a topic about inversions I want to know what people’s ideas are if a warming world would lead to more episodes of air stagnation compared to a cooling world?

    Would the 1,000AD warming period for example likely have more air stagnation time periods then the last LIA we just exited out of?

  4. marinersfan85 says:

    I think it’s safe to say winter is over. Now before you all get fuming mad. A little reverse psychology never hurt no one. It won’t work anyway. Bring out the forks Mark! Take one for the team!!!!

  5. schmit44 says:

    1/7/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:74 at LONG PRAIRIE(1093 ft)
    Low: 62 at RED MOUND(1753 ft)

    High:30 at ONTARIO(2260 ft)
    Low: 14 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 40 degrees
    CRANE PRAIRIE (55/15 ) (5500 ft )

  6. W7ENK says:

    916 PM PST WED JAN 7 2015


  7. I find it offending when Mark calls us geeks. I’m not a geek… am I?

  8. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    That sunset was followed promptly by an amazing sunrise!

  9. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    Last night’s amazing sunset from the Long Beach Peninsula:


    • W7ENK says:

      Oh wow!! how did I miss these last night?!?

      Fantastic pictures, as always Tyler! I particularly like the close in one of the trees on the hillside, and the one (above) with the lone tree centered with the sun peeking around the trunk.

  10. W7ENK says:

    538 PM PST WED JAN 7 2015


    • Boydo3 N. Albany elev. just under 500' says:

      That’s my neighborhood. Gonna get out of it tomorrow and go steelhead fishing in the coast range!

    • marinersfan85 says:

      Dropping rivers is the best time to target steelies! Go get em and good luck!

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Absolutely, heading out for them there fishes!

    • Sapo says:

      Nice to see I have some fellow fisherman on here lol. I hit the Deschutes recently with some decent luck (laaate summer steel). On another note, we’ve only had one really foggy day here in Tigard…

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      Love the summer steelies jumping abilities!
      Really foggy here.

  11. WEATHERDAN says:

    42 and partly cloudy in Salem this afternoon. So I expect the thick fog to be back this evening. Considering what most of the rest of the country is going through our weather is really quite pleasant. Peace.

  12. David B. says:

    Gunked-in this morning but the sun broke through about 20 minutes ago. Seems as if it’s being more persistent in the Willamette Valley this time. Payback for fall last year, when the Puget Sound area was gunked in for weeks while the WV had sunny warm afternoons.

    • David B. says:

      Eh, fall 2013, not fall last year (which would be last fall).

    • Boydo3 N. Albany elev. just under 500' says:

      We had our share of FOG here in the mid valley last..er..winter. Portland escapes it alot. But we got lots of snow and they got very little. Funny how different the weather can be only a short distance apart.

    • Brian Leroy says:

      It’s gonna take a la nina winter to break this curse until then were screwed so here’s to pea soup and muck.

  13. Hal in Aims says:

    beautiful April afternoon here……….

  14. Its clear up at my house. But I work in Salem so I won’t see the sun this week. Just the stars at night.

    • W7ENK says:

      Andrew! I never see you elsewhere on the internet anymore, how’re the babies coming along?

    • High Desert Mat says:

      Andrews still on the weather forums. I see him there all the time. Doesn’t talk much about his babies though since its a weather forum. Lol

    • W7ENK says:

      Andrew and I are fairly good friends, I’ve had him and his wife over to my place for BBQ and bonfires several times, and I’ve been over to his place for the same. He’s sort of disappeared from Facebook the last several months, so I thought I’d bug him here, since — as I said — I never see (him) elsewhere on the internet anymore.

    • W7ENK says:

      Oh, and I’ve never commented over on Western. I tried reading through one of the threads a few years ago and all I remember was spending several minutes trying to decipher the alien-speak this one dude was droning on with, a hilarious tantrum thrown by one of our finest, and Jesse being the typical ashhole to everyone he didn’t agree with. And a lot of whining. You think it gets bad here? Jeez!! No thank you…

    • gidrons says:

      Andrew has over 2000 posts on Western, although its called weather forums now and I think it has new owners. Its kind of comical over there. One guy must have a random punctuation generator on his keyboard. No one can tell what the heck he is saying, but that doesn’t deter him. Another guy’s posts are littered with acronyms that few can understand, which he counts on as a defense when his forecasts bust. I like that they embed big model maps in their posts, so it saves time from going to the individual sites.
      No matter what though, I always come back here to read Mark’s latest thoughts.

    • Internet stalker…

    • GTS1K' says:


    • W7ENK! They were born December 17th! They are doing well! I’ve scaled down my internet/social media presence quite a bit! Hopefully see you and the crew later in spring or toward summer when things calm down a bit! Thank you for asking. I hope you are well!

    • Oh and apparently Jesse got engaged…

    • W7ENK says:

      Oh wow, congrats! I bet you’ve got your hands full now, I don’t blame you for keeping off the InterFacePlusTubes.

      Such a stud, he got his wife pregnant twice in one shot! Way to go, buddy!! 😆

  15. WEATHERDAN says:

    Being stuck in the fog and low clouds is okay because in the Summer the reverse happens quite a bit Salem has wall to wall sun and Portland is stuck in the low clouds till about 11:00 AM. Thus PDX stays 75-78 and Sle is 80-83. So enjoy the Winter sun now, Summer will be back soon. Peace.

    • pappoose in scappoose says:

      In your dreams.

    • Garron near Washington square says:

      That was the most unusual/remarkable thing about last summer, IMO. PDX didn’t suffer hardly at all from those pesky morning clouds. Must have been due to the warm blob of Pacific ocean off our coast last year.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      PDX usually ran 3-5 cooler than SLE during the last few Summers. Even on days when the low clouds don’t form you are more under the influence of the cooler more dense marine air that moves up the Columbia river almost every night during the Summer months every year. This of course doesn’t happen during East wind events during the Summer. As for Summer being back soon I mean in May of course. Because that’s when our Summer patterns usually set up. Peace.

  16. Becca says:

    Hi Mark, question for you. I live in NW Portland and work downtown. The past two days, I’ve noticed that the fog breaks up south of the Broadway Bridge. It was quite striking last night, because south of Broadway there was a beautiful pink sunset visible, and almost immediately after passing under the bridge it got so grey that not a trace of the sky could be seen at all. Same thing this morning.

    Looking at the topography of the area, I can’t see why Broadway would be the fog cutoff. Is there any meteorological reason for this behavior?

  17. W7ENK says:

    Fantastic sunset last evening. I sat down at the Milwaukie boat launch and watched it over the river for an hour. Pointed my dash cam up at it and recorded for an hour, I’ll hopefully get that squeezed down to one minute and uploaded to share this evening.

    In the meantime…

  18. GTS1K' says:

    All clear here – sunny and 45 degrees.

    I can see the “blanket” in the valley.

  19. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Looks pretty nice! (outta the valley) Hahaah!


  20. schmit44 says:

    I sure wish the KPTV tower temp sensors were working. Would be some amazing temp differential from bottom to top in this scenario.

  21. schmit44 says:

    1/6/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:70 at BURNT RIDGE(2955 ft) & SUGARLOAF(4328 ft)
    Low: 56 at CANNIBAL MOUNTAI(1939 ft) & SUGARLOAF(4328 ft) & RED MOUND(1753 ft) & FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543 ft)

    High:35 at MOSS SPRINGS(5850 ft) & ONTARIO(2260 ft)
    Low: 17 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 37 degrees
    Lorella (60/23 ) (4160 ft )

  22. Ron says:

    Gotta love warm weather in January!!

  23. paulbeugene says:

    Time to hike up Spencer Butte just outside Eugene, should get on top of the inversion there.

%d bloggers like this: